Cuomo brothers look forward to reuniting after coronavirus: 'Let's get back to family'

Like millions of families across the country, the Cuomo brothers are looking forward to that first time when they can get together after the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

CNN host Chris Cuomo and his older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, ended his show Wednesday with a hopeful vision of the future on a difficult night in which Chris Cuomo announced that his wife has tested positive for the coronavirus.

"I think this is one of those situations in life that shows us really what to be thankful for and gives you some perspective and it's simpler than we tend to make it,'' Gov. Cuomo said. "What do I want? I want to be able to go fishing with you and throw my cell phone in the ocean and not worry about it. I want to be able to sit around the table with Mom and laugh, and your kids and my kids, and be able to hug them without worrying about social distancing."

The governor described the toll of the illness on New York, which has more cases (213,779) and deaths (15,364) than any state in the country.

"I will never want to hear about social distancing again,'' he said. "I don't want to get up at 4 o'clock in the morning and the first thing I have to go through is understanding how many deaths we had the night before. I don't want to talk to any more families who lost family members. I want the pain to stop. I want the fear to stop. I want the anxiety to stop."

The governor, 62, has experienced that anxiety for his own family firsthand, as Chris Cuomo, 49, was diagnosed with coronavirus more than two weeks ago. The younger Cuomo has endured losing 13 pounds in three days at one point, chipping a tooth because he was shivering so hard, undergoing "scary" chest X-rays and even having a hallucination of his late father, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, who died five years ago. It also has taken a mental toll on him.

Chris Cuomo's wife, Cristina, has been caring for him while he has been self-isolated in the basement of their home, and now the mother of their three children is sick herself.

"Cristina now has COVID. She is now positive, and it just breaks my heart,'' he said Wednesday night. "It is the one thing I was hoping wouldn't happen and now it has."

While the banter between the Cuomo brothers has been welcome comic relief during a difficult time, the governor struck a more serious tone on Wednesday when giving his wish list for the coming months.

"I want you to get out of your basement," he said. "I want Cristina to be OK. I want those hospital workers to be able to go and sleep a full night.

"Just let's get back to normal, let's get back to family, let's get back to all those simple things that we took for granted and we were wrong, and now we miss. And when we get them back maybe we'll cherish them more than we ever have."

"That is beautiful,'' Chris Cuomo replied. "I share your dream."